Driver who yelled anti-Semitic remarks tried to hit men leaving synagogue, police say

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Driver shouted racial slurs at Jewish men leaving synagogue and tried to hit them, police say.

Authorities arrested a motorist suspected of trying to run down two men leaving a Los Angeles synagogue, and detectives are investigating the case as a hate crime, police officials said Monday.

The driver yelled anti-Semitic remarks at the men Friday night, made a U-turn and drove at the pair, who took cover behind a car and an electrical box, said Deputy Chief Horace Frank.

The suspect made another U-turn and targeted the men, then tried to speed away but crashed into another car in the largely Jewish Wilshire-area neighborhood, Frank said.

No injuries were reported.

The suspect, Mohamed Mohamed Abdi, was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, but is now a U.S. citizen, officials said. The 32-year-old was arrested for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon and remained jailed. It wasn't known Monday if he has an attorney.

The FBI joined the investigation, and Abdi could face federal charges, Frank said.

Police Chief Michel Moore said investigators believe Abdi was acting as a "lone individual" and not as a member of a group, but the investigation was continuing into his background and associations.
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